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JobPath Implementation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 29 November 2016

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Ceisteanna (335)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

335. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason those referred to JobPath are no longer eligible for a community employment scheme; his views on the impact that this may be having on the viability of community employment schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37337/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

My Department provides a range of activation supports catering for long-term unemployed jobseekers and those most distant from the labour market. These supports include the JobPath service and employment programmes such as the Community Employment (CE) scheme.

The JobPath service is provided for jobseekers only, whereas CE schemes provide part time temporary work in communities for people in receipt of a range of social welfare payments including jobseekers.

JobPath aims to place people into full-time sustainable employment. The period of engagement with the service for any individual is typically 52 weeks. During that time they receive intensive individual support to help them to overcome barriers to employment. During the year if a person is placed into a job they will continue to receive support for at least three months and up to an additional twelve months while in employment.

CE schemes are a stepping stone back to employment but are not full time sustainable jobs. People who have completed their year long engagement with JobPath may, if eligible, apply to partake in a CE Scheme after they have been assessed by a departmental case officer.

In general, people are not allowed participate in two separate schemes at the same time. Given the need to manage the allocation of places to all schemes in an effective manner, the Department does not facilitate or encourage jobseekers to leave one scheme early in order to take up a place on another.

The welcome reduction in the unemployment rate to 7.5% (Oct 2016), which has fallen from a peak of 15% (Feb 2012) is a factor in recruitment to all programmes never the less despite this reduction, the table below shows the number of people on CE schemes is relatively stable. In addition, as participation on JobPath is limited in most cases to 12 months, people on JobPath are becoming available to other schemes as their period of engagement with JobPath comes to an end.

Number of CE participants and supervisors: for the period 2015 and 2016:

CE Participants 

CE supervisors

Oct 2015

22,488

1,388

Oct 2016

22,040

1,387

It should be noted that CE Schemes are not restricted to those in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment. If there is a CE scheme experiencing particular difficulties in recruitment, the sponsor should contact their local DSP office so that the matter can be reviewed.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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